Subrogation attorneys Rebecca Wright and Adam Wilk have been selected to present a seminar entitled “Other People’s Torts: Third Party Liability in Subrogation Claims” for the National Association of Subrogation Professionals’ November 2018 Annual Conference. 

In auto collisions, liability is not limited to the tortious driver. You may be able to recover loss via subrogation against other parties, such as the owner of the vehicle, a family member, the employer – even a bar or party host. This presentation by two of our experienced subrogation lawyers will take a nationwide look at theories of recovery against these third parties.

RG Subrogation Lawyers with a Focus on Advocacy and Strategy

Rebecca has been involved in insurance subrogation for over a decade, and is licensed to practice law in several states and district courts. She serves as subrogation counsel for insurance companies who need a skilled approach to litigating or settling their subrogation case. 

Adam has worked in subrogation for over 30 years as an advocate for creditor’s rights. His focus in insurance subrogation law has led him to serve as counsel for subrogation cases in the state and federal district courts of MD, VA and the District of Columbia.

Third-Party Liability: Understanding Primary vs Vicarious Liability in Subrogation

Primary, direct and joint liability apply when a party has breached their duty of care in a situation where they have control over the outcome. Vicarious, or third-party, liability is different; while a third party was not negligent and/or had no criminal intent, it can still be held liable if it in some way had control over, was responsible for, or benefited from the negligence of the primary party.

In subrogation, we often see this play out in an employer-employee relationship, where the plaintiff argues the employer is liable for the tortious behavior of the employee, and they should also be responsible for helping the subrogating party to recover. A similar concept applies in the case of parents being held liable for their child’s tortious actions.

It’s the duty of the subrogating counsel to investigate the matter and find a way to prove that the third party did, in fact, have control over the tortfeasor’s actions. It is important to over-satisfy the burden of proof in your third party subrogation case, as there will be possible pitfalls, especially the independent contractor defense in the employer-employee scenario.

Want to know more about vicarious liability and how it applies to insurance and subrogation law? View our YouTube episode on the subject, or its companion article. To learn more about how to maximize recoveries via effective subrogation litigation, or for other educational tips on subrogation, check out Rathbone Group’s informative podcast and YouTube channels, “On Subrogation.”